Posted by: sarahkinsey13 | January 31, 2018

A Tale of Two Brains

In one of our most recent readings, Leadership, Authority and Women: A Man’s Challenge, Heifetz challenges women readers to spend more time understanding the context men operate on a deeper level. In a humorous manner, Mark Gungor speaks in a video on a man’s brain versus a woman’s brain. It is an interesting video that correlates to what Heifetz acknowledges in the article, “Men are simple creatures,” based on a woman’s belief.

As illustrated by Gungor in the video, a man’s brain is made of little boxes and the cardinal rule is that the boxes do not cross over. When a subject matter is brought up they open that one singular box and when the discussion is over, that singular box is then placed carefully back into its spot to ensure it does not come in contact with any other boxes. On the other end, a woman’s brain is all wired together where something is connected to everything and it is all driven by emotions. Gungor emphasizes the fact that men just do not care, and that women care too much. Although funny to watch it is an interesting portrayal from a male’s perspective of the ways each gender tend to both act and react in certain situations. In the case of stress, Gungor states that men run away to their “nothing box” and put all the stressors aside whereas a woman needs to let all the wires fire and talk everything out.

My boyfriend originally showed me this video and while watching I reflected on past experiences acknowledged my own biases. After finishing the video I asked my boyfriend if that was an accurate description of how his brain worked…. He said, “That is exactly how it worked when my ex-girlfriend drove me nutty.” He said since then though, he has grown and matured and learned to open and reach into other boxes rather than just focusing on one particular subject at a time and to refrain from venturing into the nothing box because that’s what got him in trouble by women.

I am sure this video may describe a lot of men and women; however, I think it is more representative about how most women view a man’s “simple” self and how men think women are in many ways crazy. Although these stereotypical individual boxes or a combined wired system genders operate in hold true in some cases, it does not depict everyone and it is for sure adaptive. I believe women should take the time to understand men better; however, I believe women should also ask the same of men.

 

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Responses

  1. He does have a humorous twist on everything – I am sure if I had to go to a marriage counseling conference, he would be one of the most entertaining sessions!

    I do think there is some truth to what he says. Generally, men seem less inclined to talk about their feelings than women. However, I think society plays a roll in this, where it has become socially unacceptable for men to outwardly show emotion in the same ways that women can. As our classroom repeatedly states, you cannot stereotype everyone. People are individuals, they are unique. For this reason alone, his model will never be 100% effective.

    I agree that we can enjoy the video and take it as partially true, but we will be most effective if we try to understand the other sex on an individual level. Once we recognize everyone is unique, we have a greater possibility of getting along.

  2. That was a very funny and entertaining video!

    In a simplistic way, there is a lot of truth about how a woman’s brain and a man’s brain work. It is true that a man’s brain is wired for greater special awareness and motor skills, and a women’s brain is wired for better social cognition and memory. However, there are many studies that concluded that you cannot determine a man’s and woman’s brain just based on their ‘brain activity roadmaps.” This bring up an interesting and important question, “are men and women’s brain different genetically or is it due to environment factors that influences the brain?”

  3. I believe that this video brings up a good point that men and women generally have different way of thinking and processing information. Whether it be genetically or socially, the two have differing mind sets. However, I believe that this is not necessarily a bad thing. These two contrasting styles of processing data could potentially make for an effective problem solving team. With male organized box type strategy, data could be viewed on its own. Where females process all data and how they are connected to each other. This example is going off of the ted talk, but it is an example of how two viewpoints could be used to effectively and quickly solve issues, whether it be for business leadership or societal progression.

  4. I saw this video a little while ago too, and I thought it was so interesting. My first inclination was that is so true- women are much better at thinking, and we do it so much better. We are so much more efficient. I considered how simple guys were, especially after my boyfriend at the time confirmed this. One issue in myself and society is that we assume that just because it is different, it is wrong. Different, however, just means new perspectives.

    The problem is that while there are different kinds of thinking between the genders, people also portray what they think differently to fit their gender. Guys try to come off as that simple man because they often get harassed for overthinking or becoming emotional. Meanwhile, girls have to seem like they think a lot because the same standards of being “simple” would equate to just being dumb. These standards are just contributing to the gender stereotypes. While I love funny videos like everyone else, it is small things and videos that people share for a laugh that contributes to societal roles. While things may just be for humor, they still have large impact. I know that after watching this video, my boyfriend actually tried to prove how much he fit that men stereotype and tried to prove how simple he was.

  5. I feel like my agreeing to this video is counterproductive to this class, but I do agree with this video in many ways. There are many biological, anatomical, and genetic differences in male and female brains that can explain these social-recognized differences. So although this video is putting women and men’s brains in “boxes” and stereotyping them, there is some truth to it. Of course even science, biology, and genetics aren’t restricted to “a box,” so there will always be people who do not fit this stereotype. In addition, there is definitely a lot of generalization in this video and of course sometimes too much generalization causes inaccuracy, which is surely a factor for this video.
    I think it is important to point out, however, that thinking differently from each other does not mean that one way is superior, it simply means… we think differently.

  6. I love this post! I have always thought of this concept. I always say to my family and friends that men are so simple and women are so complex. I am biased, of course, since I am a man and understand myself, but the two different brains theory does seem to be relatively true. I believe the differences in personality and thinking between genders has to do with testosterone and estrogen levels, too. I know that some men with higher estrogen levels tend to act in a more feminine manner and vice versa. However, what’s important is how men and women respond to these differences. Men should listen to women and women should listen to men. This allows a mutual exchange of information and a greater understanding of the world around us. It also prevents us from being selfish creatures. Society needs both men and women, so we should live together in harmony, growing closer to each other along the way.

  7. I saw this video a long time ago and thought it was funny. In terms of stereotypical stand up comedy I think it works well since when referring to a group it is much easier to box up men and compare them to a single definition of women. Part of what makes us human is our ability to make decisions and rationalize and so rather than just allowing ourselves to generalize to the extent that men are simple and women are complex and that’s just how it works, it is important that we judge each individual on their own merit. As a feminist, I want men and women to be equal in all aspects of the world. This means that I don’t want women to take over since they are more “complex” thinkers but rather each human should be judged and promoted based on how well they accel on a task instead. As a neuroscience major I know there are differences in men and women’s brains and hormones but some of this may be biological differences and some may be simply due to our gender roles in society and our brain evolving to support certain skills and characterizations. But I think taking this video at face value sets us back as a society and as a class since in many ways, the way men and women think is very similar and each has its own benefits and weaknesses and that is why we must work together to build up as a group and help to lessen the “weakest chain” per-say.

  8. Coming from a neuroscience perspective, I just would like to point out that physiologically there is literally no difference in structural makeup or function between male and female brains. By definition, the entire premise of this concept is entirely enforced by society.

    Women and men possess the same emotions, possess the same ability to critically think, and solve problems INNATELY, exactly the same. However, as we grow older and society begins to gender us, we are shaped and encouraged to problem solve in ways that are consistent with the attributes we are supposed to maintain. Women are encouraged to use emotions, and thus are characterized as hyper-emotional in decision making, and mean are encouraged to repress emotions, and thus are considered to be hypo-emotional. Neither one has to be true, and I think it might benefit us as a society to let go of these constructs and move towards an non-gendered and well balanced form of critical thought that utilizes a healthy mix of emotion and logic in order to obtain solutions. This connects back to the expression of emotion in leadership roles, and how that is considered “feminine” and taboo. Let’s move towards making fit decisions, not gendering natural human thought processes.


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